Recently, I came across an interesting newspaper article titled, “discover yourself, stop the wild chase” by Dennis Muhumuza.
The insightful piece was about people who wither and die with their unfulfilled potential.
One of the most remarkable points the author noted was that in Uganda, few parents and guardians have the insight and foresight to help their children discover their talents and gifts.
A child who loves to crack jokes is reprimanded for being cheeky and instead of watering his sense of humour to flourish, he is sent to the university to study Law or Medicine. In the end, his natural talent goes to the grave with him.
The inability to discover one’s purpose is a huge problem in Africa, the article reported. This is unlike in the developed world where scouts of every profession are always on the look out for young talent.
A case in point is Justin Bieber, a renown Canadian singer who was discovered by a talent manager through his YouTube videos and today at only 24 years, he is among the most popular and rich people at his age.
What it takes
Olivia Nanfuka, a fashion designer and founder of NFKA clothing, says in order for one to turn their talent into a career, it is very important to have a great support system.
“You need to have people who believe in your talent. These are the people who will cheer you on when others do not believe in you,” Nanfuka, who loved drawing and sewing clothes from childhood, says. She later pursued a degree in Industrial Art and Design.
Passion is key
Growing up, John Ssemakula, 36, a gym instructor was passionate about sports. “I am a fitness fanatic who loved running, swimming and playing basketball,” he notes. Little did Ssemakula know that he was laying a foundation for a gold mine.
After graduating from university with a degree in Information Technology, Ssemakula failed to find employment and in 2010, the idea of starting a gym cropped up.
Patricia Apolot, a 26-year-old woman, who has beaten the odds to excel at kickboxing says self-drive and willingness are often important aspects to growing your talent.
Apolot won a world kickboxing federation international title in 2015, hence becoming the first female kickerboxer to win outside Africa after beating Ivana Mirkov from Hungary.
Re-align your dreams
Emmanuel Otim a.k.a Prince Emmah, a comedian, emphasises the need for individuals to always align their dreams towards their talents.
Otim says it was while in Senior Five that he realised his talent for writing and making jokes. Today, he is not only a comedian but also a playwright and an actor.
Robert Bake Tumuhaise, managing director of world of inspiration, author and publisher says:
Natural ability. Understand talent to mean any natural ability that enables one accomplish tasks faster, easier and better.
We all are talented. If one thinks they do not have a talent, it is because they have not discovered themselves.
Choose your school wisely. I discovered my own talent, which is writing, because in Senior One our school encouraged us to read books outside academics.